Section 6: Managing Self

Section 6: Managing Self

Flashback Week 1-5 … Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses … Knowing Your Contribution … Managerial Values … Invest In Self … Weekly Insights and Conclusion
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Summaries

  • Managing Self > 6.0 Weekly Overview > Welcome to Week 6
  • Managing Self > 6.1 Flashback Week 1-5 > Summarizing Week 1 to 5
  • Managing Self > 6.2 Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses > Significance of Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Managing Self > 6.2 Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses > How to Know Your Strength and Weaknesses-Part 2
  • Managing Self > 6.3 Knowing Your Contribution > Clarity on One’s Role
  • Managing Self > 6.4 Managerial Values > Important Managerial Values
  • Managing Self > 6.5 Invest In Self > Investing Continuously in Oneself
  • Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Weekly Insights
  • Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Weekly Insights
  • Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Weekly Insights
  • Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Conclusion

Managing Self > 6.0 Weekly Overview > Welcome to Week 6

  • Welcome back! I am Vasanthi Srinivasan, your course instructor on ‘Introduction to People Management’.
  • In this module, our focus is going to be on managing self and within that I am going to focus on four aspects.
  • The third one is on understanding what are the values that you need to demonstrate as a manager.

Managing Self > 6.1 Flashback Week 1-5 > Summarizing Week 1 to 5

  • We have spent five weeks together and I think this journey has been a great learning experience for me.
  • This module will actually highlight, accentuate, deepen and engage you on the journey of managing self.
  • In week 1, the key highlight was really asking this question what does it mean to be a people manager and we looked at two aspects of being a people manager motivation and perception.
  • In week 2, again the focus was on two critical aspects prioritization and delegation.
  • It’s about how we see the world and it’s about how much we trust others.
  • In Week 3 we looked at managing performance, and within that, I think the two key dimensions that relate to this module are about coaching and feedback.
  • Feedback requires one to be self aware and sensitive to the needs and the requirements of the direct report.
  • Feedback is a critical and important process of managing others, but feedback is also about how comfortable you are and how competent you are, in being able to give feedback that is constructive and makes an impact on others.
  • In week 4 ofcourse we had our live session and I think what was interesting for me personally is the depth of the conversations in the discussion forum that surfaced, and the kind of questions that we addressed.
  • In week 5 we looked at managing peers, which is probably the most difficult one because, with peers, we don’t have authority, we only have to exercise our influence.
  • In this module, our focus is going to be on managing self and within that, I’m going to focus on 4 aspects.

Managing Self > 6.2 Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses > Significance of Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses

  • In that course one of the key questions that we would begin with is asking the participants, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” That’s an important point to start, because what we began to see was that a lot of times participants didn’t know how to answer this question.
  • So what is so distinctive about your strength? And when we spent a lot of time with him asking him what is it that he did so differently in communication? Was it in the way he spoke? Was it in the way he delivered the presentations? Was it in the way that he could influence? Was it in the way he could negotiate? Where was the difference? And what is the strength? He still didn’t get it.
  • ” And then it appears that the penny fell into place, because he turned around and said, “My strength is really in being able to understand the different perspectives that people bring to the table and very quickly be able to see the points of differences and convergence.
  • What is it about that strength that is distinctive and unique to you?

Managing Self > 6.2 Knowing your Strengths and Weaknesses > How to Know Your Strength and Weaknesses-Part 2

  • You should play to your strengths and anyway your organization gives you enough of opportunities to be able to play to your strengths.
  • Many a times, careers of young managers break because of arrogance and the lack of acceptance of one’s weakness.
  • How do I know what is my weakness? Exactly the same answer as, “How do I know what are my strengths?” Are you listening when people give you feedback about what they want you to change? Are you looking back on those situations where you’ve not done well, or things haven’t gone the way you expected it to go and asking this question “Why did it go that way?” Our first reaction is to say that things went bad because of my manager, my peer, my direct reportee, because we did not have resources.

Managing Self > 6.3 Knowing Your Contribution > Clarity on One’s Role

  • An important part of managing oneself is about knowing, “What is my contribution and how does my contribution tie into the larger organizational purpose and my larger professional aspiration?” Sometimes I am invited by organizations to help them to understand the careers and aspirations of their employees.
  • In one of these assignments, I had the luxury of being able to ask a few thousand people about what is their role and how does their role fit in to the larger purpose of the organization.
  • They did not understand how their role was important and salient in the context of the organization.

Managing Self > 6.4 Managerial Values > Important Managerial Values

  • Most of the time, when we talk about being an effective manager, we tend to talk about the competence and the skill needed to become an effective manager.
  • Do you know how to plan? Do you know how to set goals? Do you know how to coach? Do you know how to give feedback? But one of the most important things about being a manager is also about demonstrating certain values.
  • The first and the most important one is getting things done through people.
  • As a manager how much I trust others will determine how much I delegate.
  • One of the challenges of being a first-time manager is that you will be obviously more competent than all your individual contributors in getting things done, because you have been there and done it! The more difficult one is to let go.
  • Let go of what you are good at, and get your direct reportees to contribute and work on those areas that you are outstandingly good at.
  • Ask others to lead on things that you are good at, and actually pick on more and more responsibilities where you may not be so good, but that is the most important thing to be done in your role.

Managing Self > 6.5 Invest In Self > Investing Continuously in Oneself

  • If you have to continue if you have to proactively invest in yourself, one could ask,”How does one go about doing that?” Prior research in the field of professional and personal development indicates that a large part of professional development actually happens at the workplace.
  • The 70:20:10 rule of professional and personal development states that personal and professional development happens in three ways.
  • If we know that 70% of our professional development happens at workplace, then the next question would be, “Where specifically in the workplace does this happen?” McCall, Lombardo and their colleagues have done research for several decades now asking, “How do managers develop themselves?” How do managers develop themselves? Through their research, what they bring as insights to us is that there are certain contexts within the organizations which provide natural opportunities for professional development.

Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Weekly Insights

  • In successful and not so successful managers is really the capability to make tough decisions.
  • The works are so, you know, becomes the type and the intensity of the work also prevents that.
  • We will now move away from your role as a manager and just reflect, for a minute, on what has this one year meant for you from a personal growth and development perspective? I think there were many, too many learnings.
  • I know when I go to somebody, I should go very clearly with what I want to ask that person, and what is the kind of answer or commitment I need from that person.
  • I also know how to give and help others, and know that they will, at some point of time, get back to me and pass me that help.
  • I, kind of, absorb, I observe, and I learn, and I hope to implement it in my second year.
  • Great! Absolutely great reflection, because, you know, the beauty about management is that what can be taught? You would anyway acquire on the field, but really what is the most important one to learn can only come through observation, and a bit of reflection.
  • I think one of the things that I want to leave for the participants is that managerial journey is really about reflection and observation.

Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Weekly Insights

  • I often find that delegation is the most difficult thing for first time managers.
  • In successful and not so successful managers is really the capability to make tough decisions.
  • Who better than him to spend some time with us talking about first-time managers and his experiences with them? Mr. Soni, you’ve been ranked consistently for eight years as one of the Great Places to Work organizations.
  • In that context, I’m sure both your experiences and experiences of other organizations which have made similar attempt, what would you say are the different approaches that are being used by organizations to develop their front-line managers? I think the overall approach has to be that you have to create, first of all, an ecosystem for these first-time managers.
  • When I say ecosystem I mean all the supporting systems within the organization who, actually, should be configured to help this person called the first-time manager.
  • Outside this team, this overall entity’s part of an organization system, right? And, there are lot of dependencies, both, from a functional point of view and organizational point of view.
  • There are people sitting out, let’s say, in the HR function; there are people sitting in the leadership functions; there are people sitting who are in the skip-level managers for this first-time manager.
  • All of these people have a role to play to set this first-time manager up for success.
  • Each stakeholder by, you can actually define their specific responsibilities that is as to what they need to do to help this first-time manager to succeed.
  • Yeah to go back to saying, what kind of practices do organizations have when it comes to first time managers? Sonu Soni: Yeah typically to start from the beginning itself, like I said, there are various interventions which the organizations use.
  • Some of the stages in this journey are, first of all, make him aware in terms of what are his own strengths and what are the areas where he would struggle, right? And that includes giving him an insight into the kind of team members he is going to lead. Moreover, we also make him aware about the expectations which the organization has from this team.
  • Very often, just sheer experience, we see that when things derail, it’s very often the manager’s realizing he was chasing wrong set of priorities.
  • Apart from that, the other things which has worked for us is helping the young, first-time managers get into projects specially which are the business impacting projects which pull this person out of his or her specific role what this person is doing, and get him to interact with the larger system in the organization.
  • This actually helps the person put his feet firmly on the ground when he lands in this role because, he would have actually scanned, surveyed the complexity and the nuances of the larger organization.
  • The key role which has to be played, especially in context of the first-time manager is, his skip-level manager.
  • Even the deliverables for the skip-level manager, somewhere these responsibilities are loosely attached.
  • Vasanthi Srinivasan: I mean, what kind of advice would you give to people whose organizations don’t have these kind of systems? Sonu Soni: So, and apart from having a good understanding, I think, even if the organization is not large enough, but this person to have a deeper insight into his team members.
  • The person finds the coach for himself because, and that’s coming out of experience of having done it in organizations, whenever we were following this model of, you know, appointing the coach and say, “Now you go and hunt for the people you’re going to coach,” it never worked.
  • We, we tell, we suggest our first-time managers that they look out within the organization for people who could help them informally.
  • I think one of the key take-aways for those of you who are in smaller organizations or organizations where systems and processes for first-time manager development may not be as well set-up, I think one of the key messages to take-away is saying that are you able to identify for yourself a mentor or a coach who can actually guide you through your managerial journey.

Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Weekly Insights

  • You know, becomes a, the type and the intensity of the work also, prevents that but what we do, sometimes, we reflect on certain thing which is not, which probably should have done in a better way.
  • So tips on prioritization and delegation, I can tell what I had, you know, done.
  • You know, such a important thing, in this you know, dynamic environment, you know, because sometimes priority keep changing on a daily basis, right? So in that what we had, you know, what I had understood and what I am been telling to the team l sometimes let’s see what is required for the team at this point of time.
  • So that comes in, you know, practice and also what I practice and what I tell to my team as well─ Sometime put yourself, put the stake on the ground and tell, you know, this what I am going to do now, right.
  • So in terms of, you know, delegation, I, you know, when I started, you know, some task what I delegate to them then, I also understand- “Okay, instead of training this person probably I myself can do it”.
  • Why there is a gap and all those kind of, then I slowly started understanding-“well, let’s give some task, and understand, okay, this is what it’s going to be and they also will have a journey of understanding and doing certain task, right? Prof. Vasanthi: Yeah Mr. Subbiah: So now I am, I can give task to people and delegate, and I can just be at the back and not bothering about the research.
  • I have been supporting her from the behind, Okay you do this, you do that and sometimes, you know she does certain things you know, she brings up her own things and doing it, right.

Managing Self > 6.6 Weekly Insights and Conclusion > Conclusion

  • As we come to the end of the course, it is important to just look at self-development as a journey.
  • This course, I believe, for each one you, was a refueling point.
  • One, keep a journal that allows you to record the events of your life.
  • Finally, learn something new each year that you did not know the previous year.
  • As Gandhiji said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

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